Ferndale Public Library Round Up: Best in Books and More

Ferndale Public Library Round Up: Best in Books and MoreHowesLocation

(Jeff Milo, FPL, May 1, 2014)

Judeen Bartos, from the Library Board of Trustees has a nice selection of picture books and stories for Children, this week. We’re happy to return to the pages of OC~115 for another of our bi-monthly staff picks’ features.

Bartos has lived in Ferndale since 2001 and has served on our Board since February 2011. When Bartos was keith dalton adon her way to a reelection to our board a year or so ago, she said “Safeguarding this community gem,” (i.e. this library!) was her top priority. Cheers.

Judeen Bartos’ Picks

I am still feeling the afterglow of ‘March is Reading Month’ events. I had the privilege of reading to kindergartners at Roosevelt Elementary and preschoolers at the Lowry Center at Oakland University. While the children were excited to have ‘guest’ readers, the adults were equally thrilled to discuss with each other why they chose their book and how the children responded to their choices.

I started thinking – what makes a book a good read-aloud choice for the five and seed030_Laurinda Rossunder crowd? It has been awhile since I had really taken the time to reflect on this question. Of course in no small part the reader’s efforts in telling the story with energy and passion makes a huge difference. An animated reading can enliven a poorly written story, but quality books are plentiful and who really wants to put in that kind of effort?

In our house, a good read-aloud book is one that is requested over and over yet remains fresh and enjoyable each time. While everyone may know how its going to end, it is still satisfying to flip each page and hear it played out again. Even though the preschool years are in the past for us, these qualities helped ensure a gratifying read for both parent and andrew cissel ad in suitchild.

~Engaging characters with lots of dialogue – much easier to use funny voices if there are interesting characters that also have a sense of humor.


~Suspense on every page – is the bear still snoring? Is the giraffe going to learn to dance? What do you get when you mix red and white paint?


~Illustrations that add to the story but don’t interfere – tricky here. Some illustrations overwhelm the storyline, which doesn’t make them bad books, just…. picture books!chickenscratchfever-ad-final


~Rhyme and repetition – can the book be sung as well as read? Most of the good read-aloud books I recall from the past eventually turned into songs after the hundredth or so reading. Repetition, or the chorus, gives the child a chance to participate – kind of like adults at a concert!

I asked the expert in our house, our ten-year-old son Diego, for some examples of good read-aloud stories seed024_jeannie_davis_from_loriand he quickly named the books below. I have warm memories associated with each, and I am grateful that read-aloud is still a cherished part of our nighttime ritual.

A Mother For Choco by Keiko Kasza
Online Catalog: http://bit.ly/1igvzec

A wonderful book that introduces the concept of adopted families in a simple, toddler friendly way. Illustrations add to the humor and warmth.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
Online Catalog: http://bit.ly/1igvqra

The rhythmic pace of this story is totally captivating from its first page. A suspenseful plot adds to its appeal. Will the bear wake up? And if he does, what will happen next?New Harvest Homes NHH

The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown
Online Catalog: http://bit.ly/1mAPQAz

While Margaret Wise Brown is best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny, it was The Color Kittens that had the longest run in our house! Brush and Hush are two kittens mixing paints in search of their favorite color. This was an excellent introduction to how different colors can be created but the storytelling itself is what has made this book so memorable

Need more read-aloud recommendations?

Author Jim Trelease and his book, The Read-Aloud Handbook is now in its Seventh Edition and combines lists of great book choices for all ages with tips for parents on how and why reading with their child is important.

And of course don’t forget you can always ask the knowledgeable and helpful Ferndale public library staff, our go-to local source for great literary suggestions!

For more visit Ferndale Public Library’s website at http://www.ferndale.lib.mi.us/

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